rolling stones thru and thru 1994Can You Hear the Music?


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Rolling Stones songs: Thru and Thru

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Well I’m in the yellow pages/ You just take a look/ Look me up under services/ You know it’s just an open book…

Written by: Jagger/Richards
Recorded: Blue Wave Studios, Barbados, Apr-May 1994; Ronnie Wood’s Sandymount Studios, Kildare, Ireland, July 9-Aug. 6 and Sept. 1993; Windmill Lane Studios, Dublin, Ireland, Nov. 3-Dec. 10 1993; Don Was’ Studio and A&M Studios, Los Angeles, USA, Jan. 15-Apr. 1994
Guest musicians: Darryl Jones (bass), Pterre de Beauport (acoustic guitar), Ivan Neville and Bernard Fowler (backing vocals)
*Data taken from Martin Elliott’s book THE ROLLING STONES COMPLETE RECORDING SESSIONS 1962-2012

From the The Rolling Stones – All the Songs, The Story Behind Every Track book:
Keith Richards wrote “Thru and Thru” when he was with Mick Jagger and Pierre de Beauport in Barbados. It came as a sudden stroke of inspiration one morning, he explains to Jas Obrecht. “… [W]e’d been out to a club in Bridgetown. Tropical night. We had a night off, you know. And we get back to Eddy Grant’s studio, which is where we were living and working, at five in the morning and get out of the car. And I start staggering in, and suddenly I turn around to Pierre. I said, ‘Switch the stuff on, man. Incoming, incoming.’ I guess maybe in the car.… But I just went into the studio and laid it all down in one take.”
So this is a song inspired by a sultry, starry Barbadian night of a kind that favors introspection. The solitary individual waiting for his loved one to call seems to be Keith. But there is no happy ending, for: I only found out yesterday/I heard it on the news/What I heard really pissed me off, he sings in a voice both tortured and disillusioned, suggesting that his beloved has left him.

“Thru and Thru” is one of the most ambitious tracks on Voodoo Lounge. Keith reveals a rich vocal palette of astonishing sensitivity. The emotional charge in his performance and the harmonic structure of his chords are far superior to his lyrics, whose meaning comes across as pretty bland by comparison. He is most probably playing this superb ballad, which swings between rock, blues, and folk, on one of his Telecasters. The sonority of his guitar playing is truly splendid, with each note imbued with feeling) and he also uses his voice, with its rugged timbre, to deliver a performance that is fragile and highly nuanced.

The song has two distinct sections: a first with an almost dreamlike atmosphere (making use of reverse reverb) in which a synthesizer can be heard emitting crystalline sound pads, and a second from 3:48 on that is all-out rock, with a fantastic drum part from Charlie recorded in the stairwell of the studio, its sound recalling that of John Bonham. “The stairwell was concrete and it had tremendous echo,” confirms Don Was. With some very good bass from Darryl Jones, the acoustic guitar of Pierre de Beauport, superb backing vocals from Mick, Ivan, and Bernard, and a highly successful sound collage in the coda (5:06), “Thru and Thru” is one of the key tracks on the album.

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